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Indonesian Catholics assist flood victims

Displaced people given shelter in Catholic school

Indonesian Catholics assist flood victims

Indonesians displaced by flooding in Bangka Belitung province were given shelter at the St. Therese Catholic School in Pangkalpinang. (Photo  supplied by Father Hans Jeharut)

Catholics in Indonesia are among the groups providing support to victims of flash floods and landslides, following heavy rains in different parts of the country.

Several people were reportedly killed, including a 60-year-old Catholic from the Pangkalpinang Diocese in Bangka Belitung province, who was found dead Feb. 9.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated and are being sheltered in different facilities.

About 200 people displaced by the floods are staying at St. Theresa’s Catholic School in Pangkalpinang Diocese, Father Agustinus Dwi Pramodo, team coordinator, told ucanews.com on Feb. 10.

"Women are cooking, while men and youth are evacuating people and helping in transportation and logistics," Father Pramodo said.

He said Catholics have helped in many ways, such as by donating blankets, food and mattresses.

Father Parmodo said the floods were caused by mining activities, which have damaged the forests.

Delwin, coordinator of the quick response team of the Regional Disaster Management Agency, told ucanews.com that the agency is monitoring and collecting data of damaged houses and public facilities.

Floods and landslides also were reported on the predominantly Catholic Island of Flores in East Nusa Tenggara province.

Father Marthen Chen, Caritas coordinator for the Ruteng Diocese, said heavy rains that began last month have damaged homes and rice fields.

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"Flooding and landslides occurred almost in all parishes," Father Chen told ucanews.com Feb. 10.

He explained that aside from preparing food and clothing, Caritas will be helping to repair damaged houses.

"We are coordinating with the local government," Father Chen said.

Meanwhile, Vinsen Sangu, director of the Flores Institute for Resources Development, said seven villages in Ndodo district in the Ende Archdiocese were affected by flooding.

He said 28 houses were severely damaged, while 71 homes were in need of minor repairs.

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